Xavier University Awards First Round of Clare Boothe Luce Scholarships

April 17, 2012

Xavier University has awarded three female students scholarships for women in chemistry, computer science or physics from the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) program of the Henry Luce Foundation. Students will be designated as CBL Scholars for their junior and senior years.

This year’s CBL Scholars are:
(43119) Arika Branch of Galloway, OH, a sophomore in computer science
(16125) Angela Hanna of Greenville, PA, a sophomore in chemistry
(45247) Laura Kaiser of Cincinnati, a sophomore in physics

The percentage of Xavier women graduates in chemistry continues to exceed national rates, while for computer science and physics, Xavier tracks national rates. Xavier exceeds national rates for women attending graduate school in chemistry and physics.

“The funding offers us a tremendous opportunity to support the success of female students pursuing degrees and careers in chemistry, computer science and physics,” says Michael J. Graham, S.J., president of Xavier. “Xavier’s emphasis on undergraduate research, particularly in the STEM fields, provides a strong foundation for ongoing study in the sciences.”

Xavier leads more women to graduate school and science careers by encouraging women to participate in Xavier’s culture of undergraduate research and by continuing its program for first-year female science majors to learn about research from upperclass women, as well as a program that brings alumni to discuss non-medical science career paths. Of the 12 Xavier women who received full Clare Boothe Luce scholarships under prior grants, nine have pursued graduate education in a STEM discipline, and two of these have completed PhDs and are now at post-doctoral positions, one at Harvard University and one at Vanderbilt University.

Since its first grants in 1989, the Clare Boothe Luce Program has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering. Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics and engineering.